Both before and after Trump’s one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday, Fox’s on-air talent was uncharacteristically critical of the U.S. leader.
It started with “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade, who called Trump “ridiculous” for his pre-meeting tweet claiming that “U.S. foolishness and stupidity” were to blame for the two countries’ deteriorating relationship:
“That’s by far the most ridiculous tweet of late,” Kilmeade said, “and that is insulting to past administrations. He can’t be saying that going into the Russian summit.”
Things didn’t improve post-summit when Trump stood alongside Putin at a press conference and disputed well-substantiated U.S. intelligence reports that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Neil Cavuto of Fox Business called the performance “disgusting.”
“It’s not a right or left thing to me ― it’s just wrong,” he said. “A U.S. president on foreign soil talking to our biggest enemy ... is essentially letting the guy get away with this. And not even offering a mild criticism.”
“That sets us back a lot,” said Cavuto.
Cavuto later said ― perhaps jokingly ― that he thinks the president deserves “the benefit of the doubt,” speculating that Trump’s poor performance came down to “maybe jet lag and time differences.” (Trump has been in Europe for nearly a week.)
“Fox & Friends” co-host Abby Huntsman ― daughter of Jon Huntsman, the U.S. ambassador to Russia ― was not so forgiving, suggesting that Trump had thrown America under the bus: